Always bring your compelling characters to life, because the breadcrumb keeps audience coming back for more.
My name is Mike Godson, I am an actor, activist and entrepreneur. I began my acting career as early as 2010. I am a household name in the Nigerian Film Industry. I have featured in over 100 films over the years and starred alongside veterans like, Pete Edochie, Clem Ohameze, Kenneth Okonkwo, Van Vicker and John Dumelo. As a successful entrepreneur, I run an Agro-processing and commodity trading company in Lagos. As an activist, I play a major role under the umbrella of the independent Nigerian electoral commission (INEC) as a youth ambassador encouraging youths to engage in exercising their rights as voters and building the nation.
Tell us about your journey! inspire someone.
I began my career as an actor more than 10 years ago, but I told myself a few years ago that I needed to develop myself beyond the screens and build a successful and sustainable business. I pitched a business idea to a friend of mine who runs one of Africa's fastest growing shipping company successfully. I invested and started my business after two years of his coaching and mentoring. Today, I run a commodity trading business that manufactures and sells tonnes of raw materials to companies and end users. I do (backward integration) which means what we supply, we produce and process. The goal is to create jobs, reinvigorate our communities and generate economic growth. I had watched Aliko Dangote 's interview on Aljazeera a few years ago, he talked about his early stage as an entrepreneur, and how he took his uncle's loan to start a company, paid back the loan after three months, worked very hard and turned the business into a conglomerate. It had been my biggest inspiration.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business?
How did the idea for your business come about?
Having understood the creative industry's demography, I realized that creating other streams of income is very important. There is always a need to do more, to keep building, and it was also a point in my life when I was surrounded by top achieving business men, I would listen to them speak on building, nurturing and growing their businesses. These conversations will keep me awake at night, even while on set. I would also listen to top business leaders speak at events and every day I became increasingly motivated and determined to do more. That was the spark!
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
As an entrepreneur, it can be very difficult to own a business in Nigeria especially a commodity trading business. I went through the fear of raising funds for the ideal business, time factor dedicated to learning and building, establishing business relationships. You know how it gets for every new business. The major fear is the environmental factor, which I think some people choose to neglect, as I mentioned above, running a business in Nigeria is tough, so many challenging factors however we try to make sure that we adapt to the environment, economy and demands from consumers.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I'm actually reading Darren Hardy's "The Compound Effect," definitely loving how he explains the small, gradual improvements leading to great results. Many people believe it's just a snap of their fingers, these changes happen but Hardy writes about the ripple effect in change and consistency. A recommendation for me to every entrepreneur is Grit by Angela Duckworth.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I am so fortunate to have family and friends who are supportive, sometimes I can be erratic when making moves but my family has always respected my decisions. You 're certainly going to get the call about some life choices but as long as I'm on the right road, there's always the support. I don't think that I'm going to do anything differently.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Consistency. In business, one finds purpose when consistent. A favourite quote by Anthony Robbins is “It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently”.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I was afraid of taking risks and losing money when I first started but as time went by, I learned how to run my business better, taking risks without losing too much. The mistakes I made early led to making me better, they taught me discipline, integrity and consistency. Experience certainly is the best teacher.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Make sure you conduct analytical research about the industry, from customer needs to market dynamics, before you venture into any business. Always be willing to learn more, because that will help your development. Know that difficulties always exist and through barriers will always prevail, however hard work and dedication. Don't be afraid of failure, the most successful men failed and they succeeded too. One thing the current pandemic has taught us is constant change considering how we all had to adjust our business and adapt to the new norm.